‘Don’t blame us for council malaise’
FORMER Mayor Mick Venardos has defended his council’s financial record, saying it was declared Queensland’s best and should not be blamed for any current council woes.
The Queensland Treasury Corporation’s 2007 financial sustainability report found the then-Cooloola Shire Council’s position was “very strong”.
It had “a very high capacity to meet its financial commitments on the short, medium and long term”.
“It is highly likely to be able to manage any unforeseen financial shocks and any adverse changes … without revenue or expense adjustments,” the report said.
It was the only one of 109 councils to be given that rating.
Gympie Regional Council said this week it had run an $11 million operational deficit in the 2018-19 financial year.
Some of the fault has been placed at the feet of “historic” problems, and this raised a few questions for Mr Venardos.
“Cooloola Council, which ceased to exist in 2008 because of an enforced amalgamation with Kilkivan and Tiaro, is accused of being the cause of this council’s malaise and dilemma,” Mr Venardos said. “What happened in the 10 years since amalgamations?”
“How is it that a council which had its administration and financial management examined and appraised by the QTC … the strongest, best financially managed and most sustainable … be the cause of this council’s malaise and dilemma some 10 years hence?
“I want it put on the record … the council I was associated with for many years cared about the core responsibilities and continued to build on previous councils’ efforts.”
This was the result of effort from staff and elected representatives including Ian Petersen, Bob Fredman, Yvonne Oliver and Ken Mason, he said.